Propionibacterium-associated endophthalmitis after extracapsular cataract extraction. Review of reported cases

Ophthalmology. 1989 Jan;96(1):54-61. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(89)32939-3.


Sixteen cases of previously reported culture-proven Propionibacterium-associated endophthalmitis after extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE) are reviewed. The inflammation was observed 2 to 10 months after surgery and occurred after laser posterior capsulotomy in four cases. Clinically, it appeared as a chronic iridocyclitis characterized by granulomatous-appearing keratic precipitates (5 cases), hypopyon (10 cases), and a white plaque on the posterior capsule or intraocular lens (IOL) implant (8 cases). Response to corticosteroid treatment was transient. Surgical intervention was required between 1 and 16 months after the inflammation began and included removal of the IOL and capsular bag via the limbus in 7 cases and pars plana vitrectomy in 11. Intravitreal antibiotics were administered in 12 cases. Postoperative visual acuity ranged from 20/20 to count fingers, with 11 of 16 patients recovering visual acuity of 20/40 or better. Propionibacterium-associated endophthalmitis should be suspected if chronic indolent intraocular inflammation develops after ECCE. Intraocular specimens should be obtained and submitted for aerobic and anaerobic culture and cytologic/histopathologic studies. Based on the clinical courses of these patients, recommendations for management are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Infections*
  • Cataract Extraction* / methods
  • Endophthalmitis / etiology*
  • Endophthalmitis / surgery
  • Eye / microbiology
  • Eye / pathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lenses, Intraocular
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Postoperative Period
  • Propionibacterium / isolation & purification
  • Visual Acuity
  • Vitrectomy